Sunday, July 7, 2013

Glimpses into My Father’s Heart

We recently enjoyed a good, lengthy visit with my (Eric) parents here.  It was fun to explore areas of the city they used to frequent, eat delicious foods we all remembered, and experience the culture together.  It had been over twenty years since they left Argentina; many things had changed but some remain the same.  One unexpected blessing for me was to see my father’s reaction to different things, to experience the things he loves and witness the things which grieve him.

Gaucho at the Feria - picture taken by Olivia
One Sunday afternoon, we visited the “feria” our family had gone to one of our first weeks here.  There are many booths set up for people to sell various souvenirs and traditional items, as well as tasty food.  We enjoyed standing near the stage they leave set up there week after week.  Some Sundays they have groups there to perform folklore music.  On this Sunday, they had people doing some of the traditional dances, complete with their elaborate and colorful outfits.  I was taken back several years when I saw the look on my Dad’s face at the sound of the music.  He could have stayed there for hours.  He developed a deep love for the music of Argentina.  
The last Sunday night they had here, my father and I had the privilege of leading worship at a church where one of his friends is the pastor.  I had forgotten how excited he gets about seeing people worship with music that reflects their rich culture.  We enjoyed singing together, and leading God’s people in this way.

There is one sight often seen in countries like this that affects my father deeply.  One day, driving through a nearby neighborhood, the two of us saw a homeless man.  My Dad pointed out the plight of the homeless, and I looked over to see a tear in his eye.  I remember seeing this as a child, a powerful glimpse into what saddens him.

As I’ve reflected on these moving experiences, I was reminded of a worship chorus we heard before leaving the states.  The lines read: “Show me how to love like You have loved me, break my heart for what breaks Yours”.  Indeed, each of us need God to teach us how to love like He loves.  And, through the intimacy He desires with each of us we can surely catch a glimpse into what brings Him joy, and what breaks His heart.  I know my heavenly Father, like my earthly father, loves music.  He delights in the praises of his people, the expression of their faith through music.  I also know He is heartbroken by the homeless, the “least of these.”  Each of us can stand to be stirred by these glimpses into what God loves, and what breaks His heart.

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